Understanding Interpol Red Notices in the UK Context

Understanding Interpol Red Notices in the UK Context.

Interpol Red Notices are a critical component of international law enforcement. Serving as a global alert system, these notices are integral in tracking and capturing individuals across international borders. Their influence, however, extends beyond law enforcement, affecting legal processes and individual rights within a jurisdiction.

In this article our Interpol Red Notice Solicitors offer important insights into this complicated and often misunderstood discipline of international law.

What Is Interpol?

Interpol, short for the International Criminal Police Organization, is a global organisation that enables collaboration and cooperation among police forces from various nations worldwide. 

Headquartered in Lyon, France, Interpol has 194 member nations, making it one of the biggest international organisations in the world. Despite its extensive network and capabilities, Interpol does not have its police force. 

It acts more as a facilitator, providing support and coordination among member countries’ law enforcement agencies. Founded in 1923, it aims to assist international law enforcement agencies in fighting various forms of transnational crime.

Interpol’s functions include:

  1. Data Sharing and Support: It provides a platform for police forces to share intelligence and data on offences and criminals. This includes databases of fingerprints and information on stolen property.
  2. Coordination of Cross-Border Police Cooperation: One of its primary roles is to provide a secure platform for exchanging intelligence and information on criminal activities and suspects. This includes managing databases that contain details like fingerprints and records of stolen goods.
  3. Issuance of Notices and Diffusions: Among its most recognisable functions is issuing different types of notices, including the Red Notice. This is essentially a request for the location and provisional detention of an individual pending extradition.
  4. Training and Development: Interpol also dedicates resources to training and developing the police forces of its member countries, aiming to enhance their proficiency in various aspects of law enforcement.
  5. Crime Prevention and Enforcement Initiatives: Beyond its operational roles, Interpol actively supports various initiatives and projects focused on preventing crime and enhancing enforcement. This includes tackling environmental crimes, art theft, and crimes against children.

What Is an Interpol Red Notice?

A Red Notice serves as a communication mechanism between nations, informing them that an individual is being sought for prosecution or to execute a sentence based on an arrest warrant or court order. The purpose of a Red Notice is simple: to identify and temporarily hold an individual awaiting extradition, surrender, or other legal proceedings.

A Red Notice provides key details about the individual sought, including their name, date of birth, nationality, and photograph. It also outlines the specific accusations against the person and describes the alleged criminal activities.

Please be mindful that a Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant. Instead, it serves as a means for countries to extend their search for a wanted person beyond their borders in adherence to international standards of law enforcement cooperation.

Also read: How to Remove An Interpol Red Notice

What Is a National Central Bureau?

A National Central Bureau (NCB) is a specialised unit within a country’s police force dedicated to exchanging information with INTERPOL. These bureaus are the primary contact points for exchanging information and coordinating efforts with Interpol.

Interestingly, the National Central Bureau (NCB) is often called ‘Interpol’ within their respective countries. For example, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Bureau is known as INTERPOL Manchester.

How Can I Find out if Interpol Has Issued Me a Red Notice?

Determining if you are subject to an Interpol Red Notice can be tricky. 

When a member state requests Interpol to circulate information about a suspect or convicted person, this information is sent internally to the databases of every member state. Interpol may publish the Notice on their website and make it publicly available. 

So, before anything else, look over this public list. Keep in mind that a Red Notice might still be issued against you even if your identity isn’t visible on this public page.

This is because the page only displays a selection of Red Notices, with the remainder accessible exclusively on Interpol’s restricted networks. Only national law enforcement agencies can see these networks.

If you suspect that you might be subject to a Red Notice or Diffusion, and your name does not appear on the public page, it is advisable to seek expert legal advice before proceeding.

Contacting a legal professional with experience in international criminal law or extradition matters can guide you in privately verifying your status without alerting the requesting member state, thus protecting your legal rights and privacy.

Challenging Interpol Red Notices

If you feel you have been wrongfully exposed to an Interpol Red Notice, you can challenge it. The process, while complex, is vital for protecting your rights and addressing potential legal injustices.

The first step in challenging a Red Notice is to understand the grounds on which it can be contested. These typically include cases where the notice is politically motivated, lacks sufficient evidence, violates human rights, or if the person has already been tried for the same offence (double jeopardy).

If you suspect that a member state is about to request Interpol for the publication of a Red Notice against you, consider submitting a pre-emptive letter.

This involves sending a letter to Interpol before the requesting state makes contact, outlining why issuing the Red Notice would violate Interpol’s rules. The letter should properly disclose the reasons. 

In cases where an individual is unaware of a Red Notice until after its publication, submit a request for deletion to the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF). The CCF, an independent body within Interpol, ensures that all personal data processed comply with Interpol’s rules, including those regarding the issuance and maintenance of Red Notices.

It’s important to note that while challenging a Red Notice, the notice remains active, and you could still face arrest or detention. Therefore, timely and well-prepared legal action is crucial for those seeking to overturn a Red Notice. 

Legal representation is highly recommended during this procedure. An experienced Interpol lawyer, familiar with international law, can offer invaluable guidance. They can help prepare the necessary documentation, represent your case virtually, and guide you through Interpol’s sophisticated legal framework.

Read more about Interpol’s Role and Jurisdiction in London

Let Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors Help You

Are you unsure about your status regarding an Interpol Red Notice? Our skilled team, well-versed in criminal defence and international law, is ready to champion your cause. We understand the high stakes, and your reputation is on the line.

We offer expert guidance and robust defence in challenging red notices, diffusions and extradition requests, ensuring compliance with Interpol’s rules and safeguarding your rights.

Let us be your guide and shield in this challenging time. Make the initial step to restoring control of your situation. Contact Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors for a consultation, and let’s collaborate to turn the tide in your direction.


A Red Notice requires approval from its General Secretariat before publication, ensuring a level of validation. In contrast, a diffusion is a notice sent directly by one of the member countries to others without requiring a General Secretariat review. This means diffusions can be circulated more rapidly. 

Red Notices are typically issued for serious criminal offences. Interpol’s constitution prohibits it from launching any intervention or exercises of a political, military, spiritual, or racial character.  The organisation also reviews Red Notice requests to ensure they comply with international standards on human rights.

Yes, a Red Notice may be challenged through legal proceedings if there are valid grounds. It is advisable to seek assistance from Interpol Red Notice lawyers who specialise in handling such matters.

The legal framework for processing Interpol Red Notices in the UK is based on international criminal law and the rules set by Interpol for the processing of data related to Red Notices and diffusions.

Yes, Interpol is bound by its constitution and rules, which set guidelines for the issuance and deletion of Red Notices. The decisions of the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) also play a significant role in interpreting and enforcing these rules.

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

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